Christopher Bell Is In Search Of His Fifth Win This Week

Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell and the No. 4 Toyota Tundra Racing team head to Bristol Motor Speedway leading reigning champion Johnny Sauter in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season standings with three races remaining before the playoffs start. Bell will be in search of his series-leading fifth win of the season on Wednesday night, a win that would go a long way in his effort to earn the much-coveted 15 playoff points that are awarded to the regular season champ.

Over the last four races, two wins and a runner-up finish have helped Bell make a 79-point swing in the regular season standings on Sauter. He entered the series’ 10th race of the season at Kentucky Speedway with a 42-point deficit and now enters the 13th race of the season this week with a 37-point lead. After spending nine weeks in the runner-up position in the championship standings, Bell moved ahead of Sauter with his victory at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., two races ago. The Oklahoma native nearly made it two wins in a row last week at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, but had to settle for a runner-up finish behind former Kyle Busch Motorsports’ (KBM) driver Darrell Wallace Jr.

The talented wheelman showed he has the speed necessary to conquer “The Last Great Colosseum” in last year’s event, but wasn’t able to pull off the victory. After starting from the fifth position, he made his way to the front of the field just before a competition caution at lap 41. Bell would remain out front for 100 of the next 101 laps, stretching his lead to over four seconds at one point. With 58 laps remaining in the event he was in a side-by-side battle with KBM teammate Daniel Suarez shortly after a restart and ended up spinning. After pitting for four fresh tires, he restarted from the 12th position with 52 laps remaining and would end the night with a seventh-place finish.

The 22-year-old driver enters this year’s event at Bristol as a more polished talent. In addition to leading the Truck Series point standings, he also leads NASCAR’s third division in a majority of the statistical categories, including wins (four), poles (three), driver rating (118.2), playoff points (24), average starting position (4.9), average finish (5.3), laps led (521) and fastest laps run (232).

While the application of the PJ1 TrackBite will make the bottom the preferred groove in the first half of Wednesday night’s race, when it comes down to the closing laps and the substance has worn off the winner will likely have to be able to run what Bell and other dirt racers refer to as “the bonus lane” — high up against the wall. With nine dirt wins in addition to his four Truck Series victories this year, the driver No. 4 Toyota Tundra will be in a prime candidate to ride “the bonus lane” to the five bonus points awarded at the end of the night to the winner and will also help him inch a step closer to the 15 bonus points awarded at the end of the regular season.

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 NCWTS Toyota Tundra:

Do you enjoy racing at Bristol?

“Bristol is one of my favorite tracks — it’s one of everybody’s favorites because it’s so unique. We don’t go to a place where you pretty much run inside a cup. It’s so banked that you barely turn the wheel left because you almost ride around it instead of turn around it. It’s one of the best race tracks we go to, it’s one of the fastest race tracks that we go to — not mile per hour wise, but lap-time wise and it’s a ton of fun. After watching it on TV and then going there in person, TV just doesn’t do it justice of how banked and how fast it really is. It’s just an immaculate place.”

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle, crew chief of the No. 4 NCWTS Toyota Tundra:

How will the PJ1 TrackBite being applied to the surface affect the racing at Bristol?

“With PJ1 going down, we expect that the racing will be a lot like it was for the Cup Series race earlier this year. The trucks will probably stick to the bottom early, but as the stuff starts to wear out towards the middle of the race you’ll see guys moving up and running higher. Christopher likes to run the high side from his dirt racing, so hopefully that high side comes in. I think it will be a fun race.”

Christopher Bell’s No. 4 Toyota Tundra:

 

KBM-28: The No. 4 Toyota Tundra team will unload KBM-28 for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. It is the same Tundra that Bell led 54 laps with en route to victory at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta last month.

KBM-28 Performance Profile:

 

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
7/6/2017
Kentucky
Bell
2
1
150/150
54
Running
6/23/2017
Iowa
Bell
2
5
200/200
99
Running
10/1/2016
Las Vegas
Byron
10
5
146/146
0
Running
11/13/2015
Phoenix
Jones
1
9
150/150
106
Running
8/19/2015
Bristol
Jones
4
6
202/202
0
Running
7/9/2015
Kentucky
Jones
3
2
145/145
55
Running
6/19/2015
Iowa
Jones
1
1
200/200
112
Running
5/29/2015
Dover
Jones
2
3
200/200
50
Running
Totals
8 starts, 2 Win
3.1
4.0
476

 

Notes of Interest:

 

Christopher Bell NCWTS Career Stats:

 

Year

Age

Races

Win

T5

T10

Pole

Laps

Led

AvSt

AvFn

RAF

LLF

2015

20

7 of 23

1

2

3

0

1018

111

9.3

11.9

6

4

2016

21

23 of 23

1

9

17

0

3237

197

9.2

9.5

20

19

2017

22

13 of 13

4

9

12

3

1803

521

4.9

5.3

12

12

3 years

 

43

6

20

32

3

6058

829

7.9

8.6

38

35

 

Christopher Bell’s NCWTS Bristol Performance Profile:

 

Date

Start

Finish

Laps

Laps Led

Status

8/17/16

5

7

200/200

101

running

 

Christopher Bell 2017 Highlights

  • Has posted four wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Ga., Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.), three poles, 521 laps led, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 5.3 across 13 NCWTS events

  • After 13 races, leads Johnny Sauter by 37 points in the NCWTS regular season driver’s point standings

  • Leads the NCWTS in wins (four), poles (three), driver rating (118.2), playoff points (24), average starting position (4.9), average finish (5.3), laps led (521) and fastest laps run (232)

  • Became first driver under NASCAR’s new format to sweep all three stages of a race when he led 99 of 130 laps en route to victory from the pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway (3/14/17)

  • Has one pole, one top-five and one top-10 finish in two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing

  • In Midgets has six victories; opened the 2017 season by winning the prestigious Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway (1/15/17), swept both features at the Fourth Annual POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Turnpike Challenge at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla. (3/26/17), won consecutive USAC National Midget events at Macon (Ill.) Speedway (7/1/17) and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway (7/2/17) and the USAC National Midget event at Solomon Valley in Beloit, Kansas (8/3/17)

  • In Sprint Cars has three victories; won the NRA Sprint Invaders feature at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio (4/21/17), the Ninth Annual Lou Blaney Memorial All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car race at Sharon (Ohio) Speedway (7/8/17) and the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (7/14/17) 

Christopher Bell 2016 Highlights

  • Finished third in the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase after collecting one win, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes across 23 NCWTS starts in his first full-time campaign

  • Earned his first NCWTS win of 2016, his first on pavement and the second of his career, when he led 38 of the final 42 laps at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.

  • Led a race-high 91 laps, including the final 44, of the 200-lap event at Salem (Ind.) Speedway en route to victory in his first-career start in the ARCA Racing Series and made it a sweep of the Indiana track leading 88 laps and bringing home the victory in the September event

  • Picked up his eighth career Late Model victory for KBM with a win in the CARS Super Late Model Tour event at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C and on dirt collected four 410-Winged Sprint Car wins and one USAC National Midget victory 

Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 4 Tundra:

  • The No. 4 Tundra has collected eight wins, eight poles, 29 top-five and 49 top-10 finishes across 59 starts since originating in 2015

  • Ten members of this year’s No. 4 Tundra team were a part of last year’s No. 9 Tundra team which collected seven wins, three poles, 727 laps led, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes across 23 starts last season and captured the 2016 NCWTS Owner’s Championship

  • Erik Jones delivered KBM its first-ever NASCAR Camping World (NCWTS) Driver’s Championship behind the wheel of the No. 4 Tundra in 2015 

KBM NCWTS Program

  • Holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (62), most wins in a single season (14 in 2014) and most Owner’s championships (five)

  • Erik Jones earned the organization its first-ever NCWTS Driver’s championship in 2015

  • Has collected 62 wins, 33 poles, 146 top-five and 236 top-10 finishes across 389 starts since originating in 2010

  • Nine different drivers have won a race for KBM, led by owner-driver Kyle Busch with 32. Erik Jones and William Byron each collected seven victories, Christopher Bell has earned six triumphs, Darrell Wallace Jr., has five wins, Denny Hamlin has produced two victories while Daniel Suarez, Kasey Kahne and Brian Scott each collected one trophy

  • With Bell’s victory at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway KBM has at least one win at all 21 tracks on the 2017 NCWTS schedule

KBM NCWTS @ Bristol Motor Speedway

  • KBM drivers have collected two wins, three poles, 387 laps led, five top-five and seven top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.7 across 14 starts at Bristol

  • Owner-driver Kyle Busch earned the organization its two wins at the half-mile track in 2010 and 2013

The Fugle File:

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle begins his fourth season as a crew chief at KBM and sixth overall with the organization.  The New York native has guided his team to an Owner’s championship in all three of his seasons (2013, 2015 & 2016) atop the pit box at KBM, including a combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championship with Erik Jones in 2015. His drivers have combined for 20 wins, 12 poles and 41 top-five finishes across his 81 races calling the shots for the organization. Under his tutelage last season, William Byron collected a Truck Series’ rookie record seven wins while leading the No. 9 Tundra team to KBM’s fourth consecutive and fifth overall Owner’s championship.

Fugle’s NCWTS drivers have posted one win, eight laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 3.7 across three starts at The Last Great Colosseum. Kyle Busch led seven laps en route to victory in the 2013 event with Fugle calling the shots.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Tundra 2017 NCWTS Box Score:

 

Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
Driver Pts./Pos.
2/24/17
Daytona
Bell
4
8
100/100
6
Running
33/9th
3/4/17
Atlanta
Bell
1
1
130/130
99
Running
93/1st
4/1/17
Martinsville
Bell
6
3
250/250
96
Running
136/2nd
5/12/17
Kansas
Bell
1
4
167/167
37
Running
187/2nd
5/19/17
Charlotte
Bell
1
3
134/134
2
Running
227/2nd
6/2/17
Dover
Bell
3
25
35/200
0
Accident
239/2nd
6/9/17
Texas
Bell
21
1
167/167
92
Running
298/2nd
6/17/17
Gateway
Bell
3
6
160/160
7
Running
342/2nd
6/23/17
Iowa
Bell
2
5
200/200
99
Running
391/2nd
7/6/17
Kentucky
Bell
2
1
150/150
54
Running
436/2nd
7/19/17
Eldora
Bell
4
9
150/150
22
Running
471/2nd
7/29/17
Pocono
Bell
3
1
60/60
7
Running
528/1st
8/12/17
Michigan
Bell
13
2
100/100
0
Running
572/1st

 

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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